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Agustina Bessa-Luís:

Udkommet 1997

358 sider

Pris: 250,- kr

Abrahams Dal er historien om Ema, en kvinde af faretruende skønhed. For Carlos, som hun uden lidenskab gifter sig med, er hun et "ansigt, der kan retfærddiggøre hele en mands liv". Hendes smag for luksus, de illusioner hun gør sig om livet, det begær hun vækker hos mænd, alt dette skaffer hende øgenavnet "den lille Bovary". Hun får tre elskere, men hendes affærer kan ikke dæmme op for den voksende skuffelse, hun selv kalder "sjælens svajen".
Læs uddrag
Filminstruktør Manoel de Oliveira 100 år den 11. december 2008.

(Vale Abraão: Woo hoo!).

["Adapted from the novel by Agustina Bessa-Luís, Abraham's Valley is an elegantly realized, suffusively sensual, and understatedly haunting portrait of idle privilege, objectification, isolation, and passion. Manoel de Oliveira integrates his vocational rooting in the tradition of documentary and neorealist filmmaking through lingering, contextual images of landscape and milieu (most notably, in the images of viticulture and the agricultural terraces of the valley) that reinforce the interrelationship between character and environment with classicist aesthetics (particularly, literature and theater) to create an inherently anachronistic tone that is both contemporary and immediately relevant, yet tenaciously traditional and seemingly archaic: extensive voice-overs that retain literal fidelity to the written novel; static camera compositions (usually shot in long takes) that recall the bounded canvas framing of an art painting; formally posed characters shot in frontality that is commonly associated with (fourth wall) theatrical direction as well as two-dimensional Byzantine iconography. Oliveira's recurring motif of mirrors and visual reflections further illustrate, not only the culturally perpetuated objectification of women into iconic images (in which the definition of the ideal woman is set, but pliable, embodied, not by the willful Ema, but by the uncomplaining Ritinha: dumb, servile, handsome, and virginal), but also the film's overarching theme of surrogacy and imitation. Note Ema's continued attraction to Vesuvio - a town named after the volcano near the Bay of Naples in southern Italy - a place that, unlike its volatile namesake, is cool and temperate and, like her fleeting affairs, devoid of consuming intensity. In the end, it is this realization of the insurmountable disparity between reality and imitation that allows Ema to break free from the bounds of her superficial and vacuous existence - a sobered acknowledgement, not of an exhausted struggle for the elusive, but the gullible, accepted self-delusion of its facile, illusory attainment."]